Learning anything can be difficult anyway, but add to it the challenge of not being able to hear and it only compounds the problem. Because reading is such a vital part of learning, we have included ASL (American Sign Language) in our PPL "Phonics to Reading" Program.
Using ASL with each letter and sound.
Each letter and story "key word" is taught in ASL, giving that added support to unite all of our friends, hearing and deaf.
Each key word is used throughout the stories that go into teaching each letter and sound. It has made learning phonics and beginning reading such a delight.
To help the children learn each letter sound, we've written stories to help them hear these beginning sounds.
For example, when the children learn about the Letter "A" - they also learn the symbol for the Letter "A" (above), they are introduced to Adgit, his cousin - Adam, and hear a fun story about a near accident with apples. The children can make the letter symbol each time they hear a word that begins with that letter sound (in this case, the short "A" sound - as in Adgit, Adam, apple, ant, ambulance, etc.
Story "Key Words"
Each letter story has a "key word" that can be signed every time that word is mentioned. The "key word" for the Letter "A" story is "ant." They are shown how to make the symbol for "ant" - and then every time they hear "ant" in the story, they would sign the word. (Once the alphabet has been taught, they can also be taught how to spell using ASL. These "Key Words" come in little square flash cards that can be used in games to encourage faster learning. See examples below.)
On a side note, teachers have often used the ASL they've learned in this program to help their class be quiet as they prepare for school assemblies, lunch, etc. It really has been a powerful tool in our program. CLICK HERE to download a PDF version of the Alphabet.
You can also print the cards twice and play games like Match (also known as Concentration).